Why Kiwis can’t ignore solar anymore

We're all about saving you energy and have rounded up the latest solar, climate and energy news so you don't have to.

Solar and batteries

Our Head of Energy Services, Gareth Williams, tells One Roof why homeowners can’t afford to ignore solar power any more. And, Noted reports that solar is the key to putting power back in the hands of Kiwi households.

Unlike traditional solar power companies, we’ve removed the set up costs of switching to solar. With our solarZero energy service you will save money that can add up to thousands of dollars. However, Stuff reports that if you buy a solar system it can take decades to pay for itself, according to Consumer NZ.

The combination of battery storage and solar can maintain power in the wake of a disaster, reports Mother Jones.

Solar and wind farms, stretched across North Africa's Sahara desert and relying solely on existing technologies, could produce enough electricity to power the entire world, reports Nasdaq.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Companies sourcing renewable electricity outperform their rivals financially, according to a new report from RE100, the initiative from the Climate Group that encourages firms to commit to using 100 percent renewable power, reports Greenbiz.

This week, the Government announced it will amend the Crown Minerals Act to bring the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits into law. It says is the ban is necessary as part of its climate change strategy and will ensure a long-term transition away from the use of fossil fuels. The proposed bill is now open for public submissions. You can make a submission via Greenpeace or the government website.

MBIE estimates the move could cost the Crown anywhere between $1.2 billion and $23.5 billion while Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says it’s “impossible to know" the real impact, reports interest.co.nz

Greymouth Petroleum, the second-largest New Zealand-based oil and gas producer, has started court action challenging the government’s plan, reports sharechat.

Meanwhile the government has indicated it may extend current drilling permits that are set to expire, reports Stuff. Unsurprisingly, that’s not getting any support from environmentalists.

Climate change

The UN Secretary General says the world is at a pivotal moment in the face of the direct existential threat of climate change, reports RNZ, Speaking to world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York, Antonio Guterres said failure to change course within the next two years risks "runaway climate change". 

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that since the inception of the UN there never been a greater example of the importance of collective action and multilateralism, than climate change. "It should be a rallying cry to all of us," she said in her first statement to the UN General Assembly, reports the NZ Herald. New Zealand will increase its global climate finance commitment to $300 million over four years, reports Newsie.

Climate change is fuelling heatwaves, hurricanes and floods, gradually making certain places in the US challenging, if not outright miserable, to live in, reports the Guardian. And scientists say climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for Hurricanes Florence and Harvey making them the wettest storms in the US in 70 years, reports the NZ Herald.

Power prices

Stats NZ says electricity prices increased 1.7 per cent in the June 2018 quarter, reports Stuff.

Electric vehicles

NZ now has 10,000 electric vehicles, reports Stuff. And the government will soon offer incentives to New Zealanders looking to purchase electric vehicles, reports Newshub.

Engineering Explained has teamed up with Formula E to debunk some of the big myths and clear the air regarding electric batteries (video).

Porsche will stop offering diesel versions of its cars and focus on hybrid and battery-powered vehicles instead, reports Reuters.